#50. Meeting a family - April 2012

I haven’t written very much lately because there is not too much to report.  I am still waiting to hear from the transplant office about a date for surgery.  I hope that it will be this summer.

In the meantime, today I had an interesting experience.  At a conference, someone who knew I was donating a kidney introduced me to someone else who she knew had donated a kidney.  I had lunch together with her and her husband.

This woman had donated her kidney to her adopted daughter around 5 years ago in an American hospital.  Her daughter had a kidney transplant as a young woman, and it had lasted for around ten years.  But then it failed and she went on dialysis.  Unfortunately, it took a really long time to find a donor for her, because she had a lot of antibodies.  She was on dialysis for twelve years.  “But her health suffered from being on dialysis, she still has health effects from being on dialysis that long,” her mother told me.

The mother was willing to donate, it’s just that she was not a match for her adopted daughter.  In this situation, an anonymous donor came forward, who happened to be a match for her daughter.  It started a chain with five pairs of donors/recipients, with all the operations happening in one hospital in one day.

The woman told me that within a few weeks she could almost forget that she had donated a kidney, her life has been entirely normal.  And of course she was able to help save her daughter’s life.

This couple was so excited that I was donating a kidney.  “I just think it’s a wonderful thing what you’re doing,” the husband said to me as he squeezed my hand as we parted. 

It was neat seeing how an anonymous donor can possibly impact a whole family.